Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Court_Jester, Jul 16, 2006.
The doubles match just started and I'm watching it right now.
Did he sell all his St Vincent's on e B A Y ?
Probably. Looks like he's using a Wilson racquet that has a bigger head.
Wilson n1 Force maybe?
It appears to be a Six-One 95
Just goes to show that more so than the racket, there's no substitute for having your sea legs under you and confidence.
Sampras looked extremely tentative out there, and I betcha he'd actually find his game a lot sooner by playing guys who still have "reputable" names behind them.
There's a lot more pressure mentally for Sampras to play a guy who still plays everday like Warburg or Frutterro, yet aren't very good players in the grand scheme of things.
Yes, the long lay-off stuff is all true, but protecting your legacy when you basically have ZERO confidence and next to nothing fitness is a no-win situation in my opinion. Sampras wasn't just tight in this match, I could sense outright fear in his movements. He was hesitant and his motor skills were always split second late as a result. That's the hallmark of someone who's playing to "protect" something or is afraid of getting embarassed out there.
Look at the seniors tour guys. Sampras isn't the only one to take a long layoff. Bruguera quit tennis for two years and said he didn't think he'd ever pick up a racket again after he retired, but then said what do you know, he's playing again, and he's actually enjoying himself again so you never know. Muster? Same kind of deal. Yes, well, at least Bruguera kept himself in semi-reasonable shape though right? Because he like Jordan decided to try his hand at another sport soccer? Not quite. Muster freakoid psycho fitness maniac...turned to blubber and gained 50lbs. Yet, look at him now? Sure, he's not like in his prime, but he got his game into respectable condition pretty darn quickly when you think about it. So to did Petr Korda. He too basically quite the game cold turkey upon retiring, didn't pick up a racket at all for a few years, but then what do you know? He tries the seniors tour for fun and while again not like his prime, he still managed to find a respectable playing form pretty quickly.
The actual strokes? These guys play a game their whole lives, they don't just suddenly forget how to hit technique wise. Sampras' technique was ok, but if you notice, he constantly missed balls just wide, just long, just hitting the top of the net, etc. This is the hallmark who because of fear of the situation is hesitating sub-consciously a split second. The last errant forehand Tracy commented on was exactly right. He pulled up early and thus steered the ball long not because he forgot how to hit the ball technique wise, but rather because of that sub-conscious fear response I was talking about. It's like a person jumping out of an airplane with a parachute pulling the trigger to quick. You have to be able to steady your nerves enough to think straight out there and stay/feel *connected* to the moment. What I saw out of Pete out there today was someone who looked TOTALLY disconnected from the moment, who tried to put on the mask of someone who was "centered," but you could just tell by the glazed look in his eyes and the gingerness of his gait between points, that he was not at all in tune or had any *feeling* for the match play.
The point being, he doesn't KNOW Sam Warburg. Yeah, Sam Warburg knows the "legend," but he doesn't actually know what it was like to *experience* the TRUE legend when he was actually still active. Yeah, Warburg knows that this wasn't the "real" Pete he played, and yet still the fact remains that it's the ONLY Pete he actually HAS ever played. That's got to eat away at Sampras and his talk about "pride."
On the seniors tour, though the competition is still true, I've read that the guys are much more relaxed in the locker room. Why? It's not just because of the obvious reason that they're not playing for their lives anymore. It's more tellingly because they don't have to fear the "no-namer" gunning for them, or trying to claim a famous scalp. In other words, they feel comfortable and just enjoy the competion with no strings attached because they feel like they don't have anything to prove amongst each other, there's no shame in losing to any of these other guys since they've all been "name" players at some point and proven that their best level of tennis was pretty darn good. Because of this, they can relax a little even when they know they're not at their best physically or haven't been training like they should. They feel free essentially to wing it more, because they don't feel like they're legacy is being challenged any.
Now Sampras is in a bad spot, because he hasn't adequately prepared to have enough confidence in himself to overcome the mental hangups of putting your legacy up on the line against no-names like Warburg and Fruterro when you haven't played in years.
Basically, I know for me, when I haven't played in awhile, my game comes back MUCH faster playing against guys I respect AND who respect me and know how I could play before. Why? Because then you're kind of just free to react out there, and let the your instincts come back naturally. I guess it's the difference between blindly swinging your way back into form vs. STEERING your way back into form against someone you're sub-consciously trying to PROTECT your ego from. After all, then the logician comes out in you, and deep down logically you know that this Warburg kid's never had a better shot at scalping the king and taking a patch of his balding hair home to his "fanboy" mom for a momento on ye old mantle.
It looked like Warburg had a big advantage because Pete didn't know that Warburg has a top-20 backhand and a relatively crappy forehand. Pete lost his serve when he kept serving 2nd serves to Warburg's backhand. Warburg, on the other hand, has lots of scouting on Pete's game because he''s seen him play many times on TV.
Or maybe the game has just moved on and players have gotten better.
I wonder if he would endorse Rogaine.
Hehe. It doesn't sound like you watched it. Pete was absolutely terrible!
Didnt see it how much weight has pete gained since his retirement?
I'm really surprised he couldnt roll through guys around 200 just with his serve. Although 3 years off could make a huge difference in how hard he can serve without risking injury.
Good analysis !Tym.
Anyway, !Tym is right on with his analysis. I don't know if they showed the men's singles or if played before the doubles (I was at church) but Pete looked very rusty, although he showed occasional flashes of brilliance in his s&v play. Having said that, he committed a number of UEs that I don't usually associate with him. Still, I wouldn't judge his "comeback" on this one WTT match. I wouldn't put this "league" at par with any of the slams event.
BTW, Pete's a pretty bad doubles player. Rick Leach had to carry him and they still lost the men's doubles set.
Well, you really have to qualify that statement. Pete played poorly today both in singles and doubles.
But prior to his retirement, his doubles skills were, I would say, as good as his singles skills, even though he hardly ever played doubles.
One time I had the opportunity to watch Pete paired up with Stefan Edberg in doubles at UCLA. Edberg, along with Anders Jarryd, used to form the #1 doubles team in the world, but Pete absolutely outclassed Edberg that evening and carried him through the match.
My guess is that Pete is probably just having trouble getting motivated/pumped up to play these "no name" tennis players and his true form will come out when he plays someone like Courier or Mcenroe in an exhibition.
I think Courier will have an easy time with Pete the way Pete's been playing.
May be I was a bit harsh in my assessment considering he probably never played doubles with Leach before. I never saw him play doubles in his younger days but in that WTT match, he made many tactical errors; I guess that should be expected since the guy hasn't played doubles competitively in 10+years.
What's his record now in doubles and singles matches, 1-3? Pick up, Samps.
I think it's good Sampras is having to struggle like this. As a Sampras fan, he's gotten himself out of shape and this is the only way he is going to get back into shape. He seems to realise this and is hopefully ready for that challenge. He said he will be playing a lot of exhibitions in the future.
I have the Tennis magazine August 2004 issue. He was the lead article with him and his wife on the frontcover and lots of photos inside. He looked very lean then and Peter Bodo who conducted the interview said the rumours that Sampras had gained weight were unfounded.
Therefore, Sampras must have had a pretty bad 2005 food wise and is probably the reason he is playing in 2006 because really, he is too young to be out of shape especially when you consider his comtemporaries like Krajicek and these guys look quite lean.
Just out of interest, are they quick indoor courts they play WTT on?
Pete was playing on outdoor courts. He just had a hard time picking up and reacting to balls under the lights.
Wow, coach Dick is brutally honest in his evaluation of Pete.....
Wow that is harsh!! I really wanna see a pic of him. He must've seriously chunked out.
I read the article, I think it's great. It's just what Sampras needs, a kick up the backside. Hopefully this will motive Sampras.
It's a bit like Ronaldo in the world cup, when he was overweight and out of shape and letting down the team.
yeah i hope sampras gets into shape, but thats a little brutal i must say, i mean to have some nobody coach so brutal with you and in a magazine and not to his face thats downright disrespectful to me. i mean if he thinks sampras sucks, just tell it to his face. also, its just WTT, noone really cares about it, if anything sampras is making the whole league a lot more money.
Dick Leach is not a "no name" coach. He was head coach at SC for over 30 years and Dick knows tennis.
Sampras playing WTT
Bingo. I'll bet the WTT folks begged Sampras to play this season and he's been a huge draw for for ticket sales and tv viewing. That's why WTT pretty much evenly distributes the marquee players among all of their teams. No offense, but nobody is going out of their way to watch some of these lesser known players.
That's absloutely true though. You can't count on him to win. Not only is he out of shape but he's missing tons and tons of balls. That he should make. But as other people said he's a money maker. Ticket sales boom to want to see Sampras. Any player of that historical caliber (Mcenroe, Hingis ect) will bring in the big bucks
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